Zac Guildford accused of drunken assault
Help will be offered to troubled star Zac Guildford after he allegedly staggered naked into a Rarotonga bar and assaulted two patrons, the New Zealand Rugby Union says.
A Rarotonga bar worker confirmed to The Dominion Post this morning that "the All Black player Zac'' walked into the bar naked and bleeding and assaulted at least one person .
According to the Herald on Sunday, the incident happened on Friday night (NZ time).
The Trader Jacks bar worker, who would not be named, said Guildford was "running around naked" in the bar.
"By the time he got to the bar he was cut on the forehead."
Police were involved, she said. Rarotonga police would not comment this morning and have said they will issue a statement over the next few days.
NZRU general manager Neil Sorensen told media this afternoon that the focus would be helping 22-year-old Guildford rather than disciplining him. The board will look into the matter properly tomorrow. Mr Sorensen had not spoken to Guildford himself and said the first thing to do was to find out the facts.
"The second thing we will do is help the guy if he is in trouble. Again, our first move is to really say 'how can we help this guy', that's the first thing. But we've got to establish the facts and it sounds like he got up to something. We are not denying that.''
Sorenson said Guildford had fronted the board three times in the last 18 months and so had a bit of a troubled career. ``He lost his dad a couple of years ago. He's also had some alcohol-related issues in the past. He's a good young man.''
Guildford's mother Deborah Guildford told The Dominion Post today that she was aware of the incident.
"I have nothing to say."
Witnesses said the winger allegedly punched one man who asked if he needed help then hit Australian Nick Cox across the back of the head.
"I was standing at the bar waiting to get a drink and I wasn't expecting it," Cox said.
An Auckland woman, identified only as Fiona, said the All Black was ''completely out of it".
In September it was revealed Guildford indulged in a heavy drinking session following the All Blacks' 25-20 defeat to the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium.
He made the public admission he was struggling to deal with alcohol.
"Yes, there has been [issues] and that is why I am trying to make positive steps to improve as a person and I think that will lead to me being a better player, " he said.
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the High Commission in Rarotonga had not been approached for consular assistance.